February 26, 2012
Naches in America
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. M. Nudelman (1905-1967) wrote several humorous books and also has some Broadway credits for shows that were performed in the 1960's. This book was published in 1958.
The book consists entirely of humorous sketches, some more successful than others, where the underlying theme is Jewish life in America. I found the earliest chapters to be less interesting, so if the first pages are not holding your attention, I would suggest that you skip ahead to the second or third section.
The text is very easy for native English speakers, but may be challenging for non-native speakers of English. The narrative frequently makes use of English words that are simply transliterated. Phrases like, “Gib mir tshange far a toller un detsol,” would clear to a English speaker as, “Give me change for a dollar and that is all,” but I expect it would be quite opaque to a non-English speaker.
Some of the pieces are very clever and there are some delightful turns of phrase. This is a good choice for light, recreational reading and the short 2 – 3 page stories stand alone so they can be read out of order or piece by piece over a long period of time without concern for losing continuity.